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Posts Tagged ‘resource

That’s short for powerful learning practice and doing what works.

At the end of 2009, Will Richardson asked what had changed in schools and suggested it was time for PLP. If you head over to the PLP site, two headers stand out: 1) our students are changing and 2) schools are not.

So how does one realign schools to relevant and critical changes? Rather than push technologies blindly, PLP seems to sell ideas to educators by first providing the experiences and underlying rationale and pedagogies of more current technologies.

I’ve highlighted this part in the YouTube video below. Get to the critical portion (1min 08sec – 2min 00sec mark) directly by clicking on the video source link or watch the video in its entirety below.

Video source

So, that is certainly one way of getting teachers to buy in and change.

But they will need continued support and a constant stream of ideas. They can do this by establishing personal learning networks via PLP, Twitter lists, Facebook groups, etc.

They can also get support from the US Department of Education’s Doing What Works site whose mission is to “translate research-based practices into practical tools to improve classroom instruction”.

Recently I heard that another secondary school in Singapre has just adopted 1:1 computing for students. They didn’t use netbooks (which I blogged about a while ago) but got Apple systems instead. Good for them and what a way to feed the economy!

I have also heard from two sources that MOE might be setting aside funds for a few schools to trial 1:1. Isn’t that a bit late given how a few schools have already taken the initiative? But this should give principals who are thinking of taking this route but are low on funding some renewed hope!

1:1 computing puts technology in the hands of learners, which is a good thing. In theory. In practice, there can be lots of issues. So it was timely that Richard Byrne suggested 10 things teachers should know before they embark on this journey.

Added after posting: Buzz Garwood wrote a short article in Edtech magazine about things to think about when implementing a 1:1 programme.

Tom Barrett is an educator in the UK. If you follow his tweets, you will know that  he has Nintendo DSs and multitouch surface computers to use in his classroom. I envy him. But that it not why I am blogging.

Tom shared in his blog how he uses Google Docs (GD) to provide feedback on his students’ written work. He is also thinking of using GD to provide regular feedback to parents.

If more practitioners shared ideas like him, they would need next to no formal professional development. Every teacher would be helping some other teacher!

Dipity is a tool that could be very useful in education. I did a search on A(H1N1) and this is what I got. It’s an interactive timeline comprising of various resources from the WWW!

Dipity helps make temporal and visual sense of searches. This organises the plethora of information that typically results from a Web search and makes it easier to manage. Better still, the information can be reorganised into a list, flipbook or a map to suit the needs of the searcher!

I wonder if Google might acquire Dipity some day…

Thanks to an email list, I discovered two articles that may interest my preservice teachers.

The first is an Edutopia article on “Ten Steps to Better Student Engagement“.

The other is from Teacher Magazine and is titled “When Testing Fails“. This site requires registration, but it’s free.

I highlight the first article because the course I facilitate is ICT for Engaged Learning, but we focus largely on ICT-mediated pedagogies. The article describes some other principles for engaging students and these cover the gamut of classroom management, classroom culture, managing relationships, etc.

How about the second article? It is a tongue-in-cheek yet serious look at how much emphasis many administrators place on test scores… which are subjective rather than objective!

The second article emphasized how poorly test scores indicated the effectiveness of the teacher. For the same principles brought up in the article, I think that test scores also do not necessarily reflect how much a student has really learned. There are just too many variables that influence learning.

So instead of trying to tackle learning with tests, I say we engage them instead. Provide meaningful experiences. Encourage learners to play, ask questions, and get answers. Get them to think and self-evaluate. I am certain that if we do this, we will prepare them better for an uncertain future better than tests ever will.

Just discovered another online mind mapping tool. It’s called mind42.

Many thanks to Tom Barrett for tweeting the resource and sharing his map.

Thanks to a recommendation by Martin Weller, the Ed Techie, I have discovered two more nifty tools.

OpenZine allows users to create a blogzine. OpenZine outlines its purpose below:

aMap is a very promising tool. It allows users to create ARGUMENTATIVE concept or mind maps like the one on cutting technology costs while improving education. Or the one on whether Batman is better than Superman.

Click to see all the nominees!

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